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Josephus's The Jewish War

A Biography

Martin Goodman

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


An essential introduction to Josephus’s momentous war narrative

The Jewish War is Josephus's superbly evocative account of the Jewish revolt against Rome, which was crushed in 70 CE with the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Martin Goodman describes the life of this book, from its composition in Greek for a Roman readership to the myriad ways it touched the lives of Jews and Christians over the span of two millennia.

The scion of a priestly Jewish family, Josephus became a rebel general at the start of the war. Captured by the enemy general Vespasian, Josephus predicted correctly that Vespasian would be the future emperor of Rome and thus witnessed the final stages of the siege of Jerusalem from the safety of the Roman camp and wrote his history of these cataclysmic events from a comfortable exile in Rome. His history enjoyed enormous popularity among Christians, who saw it as a testimony to the world that gave rise to their faith and a record of the suffering of the Jews due to their rejection of Christ. Jews were hardly aware of the book until the Renaissance. In the nineteenth century, Josephus's history became an important source for recovering Jewish history, yet Jewish enthusiasm for his stories of heroism—such as the doomed defense of Masada—has been tempered by suspicion of a writer who betrayed his own people.

Goodman provides a concise biography of one of the greatest war narratives ever written, explaining why Josephus's book continues to hold such fascination today.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Judas of Galilee, Ananias, Jewish education, Lamentations Rabbah, Tacitus, Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Rabbinic literature, Sicarii, John of Giscala, Enthusiasm, Judea (Roman province), Herod the Great, Sefer (Hebrew), Jewish studies, Judaism, Protestantism, Gentile, Pity, Old Testament, Jewish identity, Jews, Hegesippus (chronicler), Rashi, Menasseh Ben Israel, Joseph Justus Scaliger, Cowardice, Hellenistic period, Superiority (short story), Slavery, Galilean, Impiety, First Jewish–Roman War, Classical antiquity, Sadducees, Eastern Europe, Essenes, Hebrew language, Jewish history, Christian literature, Sephardi Jews, Narrative, Thucydides, Masoretic Text, Paganism, Suetonius, Second Temple period, Christianity, Jewish philosophy, Yiddish, Zionism, Hebraist, Passover, The Jewish War, Theology, Christendom, Shlomo, Historiography, Writing, Playwright, Ancient history, Pen name, Late Antiquity, Roman Empire, William Whiston, Early modern period, Haskalah, Rabbinic Judaism, Antiquities, Classics, Cassius Dio, Jewish literature, Mishneh Torah, Divine retribution, Christian, Halevi, Jewish prayer, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Printing, Exegesis, Second Temple, New Testament, Hebrew Bible, Bible, Josephus, Theocracy, Christianity and Judaism, Against Apion, Ketuvim, Mithridate, Western Christianity, Middle Ages, Publication, Septuagint, Early Christianity, Literature, Greek historiography, Pharisees, Siege of Masada, Skepticism, Kabbalah